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A review of my favorite food group: dark chocolate

If someone were to offer me a life’s supply of Hershey’s milk chocolate, I’d probably turn it down. I just don’t like it. I don’t like milk chocolate in general, with a few exceptions. I’m much more of a dark chocolate girl.

Although, I didn’t like dark chocolate until…college, maybe? As a kid, my mom didn’t have to worry about me touching her dark chocolate stash. But I guess it’s inevitable we all turn into our mothers, and now, like her, I prefer the dark stuff.

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I had some Amano chocolate left over from my trip to Utah in December. I’ve been rationing it since, until recently, I couldn’t find it in NC. [They now carry it at Starbucks!] Amano chocolate has been my favorite brand since I first discovered it, but I wondered if I was biased since it’s made in Utah and I know that it’s won all sorts of awards all over the world. So, I decided to do a taste test pitting Amano against Lindt and Scharffen Berger. To make this as scientific as possible 😉 I made sure that all the chocolates involved were 70%. Also, as a point of reference, Amano is the most expensive, followed by Scharffen Berger, then Lindt. So…does cost really matter?

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First, I blind-folded myself and then had Rob hand me pieces of chocolate. I put them on my tongue and let them melt. No chewing in chocolate tasting!

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The first chocolate I tasted had a rich, dark cocoa-ey taste and it wasn’t very sweet. I sensed a hint of raisin and noticed that as it melted, it had a slight alcohol taste to it, which I didn’t love. But overall, I liked the richness of it and gave this  7 out of 10 points on my dark chocometer.

The second chocolate wasn’t quite as strong as the first one. It was milder, had a more fruity taste to it, and as I let it sit on my tongue, I really noticed a change in the flavors. It got more intense as it melted and there were multiple flavors emerging at different times at different stages of melting. This was gooood. It also had a great aftertaste. I ranked it an 8.

The last bar smelled really good and it had a stronger smell than the others. It also had the smoothest feel as it melted. But I kept getting little hints of a chemical taste as it melted. It was good to start but got worse and didn’t have a great aftertaste. I ranked it a 5.

Rob also did the taste test and had similar thoughts, but didn’t get the bad aftertaste or alcohol hints in the 3rd one.

So…which bar you think was which?? Make your guesses….

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Did you guess? Good.

First chocolate – Lindt

Second chocolate – Amano

Third – Scharffen Berger

Were you right?

My winner: Amano. I have such refined taste. Gotta be honest, I was relieved that I can now legitimately call it my favorite. 🙂

Rob’s winner: Schaffen Berger.

You might wonder why Amano only got an 8 if it’s my favorite. Well, Amano makes different varieties of dark chocolate. And one of the others is “more favorite” than the Ocumare that I used in this test. [Please…someone get the “more favorite” reference. bahahaha. I love Brian Regan.]

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We also did a taste taste with just Amano chocolates. But you’ll have to wait for those results. Along with that review, I’ll also give you some tips on how to have a successful chocolate tasting. It takes practice. Or not…but we’ll say that it does just so we have an excuse to eat dark chocolate.

I’m off to take Maizey to her favorite place [the dog park] and then I’m going to my favorite place [Whole Foods].

What’s your favorite brand of dark chocolate?

Technorati Tags: chocolate,Amano,Lindt,Scharffen Berger

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Shayna @ Cuts and Curves
    at

    What a great idea! I’m not a great person to ask what my favorite chocolate is, because I really only eat one kind. It’s from Superstore, and it’s their dark chocolate PC brand. I love how rich it is! I use it in all my cooking/baking/dessert needs.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Superstore? Never heard of it! Is it a Canadian only store? I’m glad you found a dark chocolate you like…mmm…especially a rich one. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    at

    how fun! you know, i really enjoy chocolove’s 77% extra dark…it’s super creamy with a little tartness to it, but it’s still really rich. a serving is like half of a bar, but i only need a couple of squares to feel satisfied!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Chocolove is really good…I don’t remember if I had 77% or something a little higher. Either way, I remember that I liked it!

  • Reply
    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    at

    Surprisingly, I don’t think I have a favorite brand of dark chocolate….yet. I love Chocolove, Endangered Species, Trader Joe’s Swiss, Dove Dark is also great – so creamy. I want to try Amano sometime…when I get a million bucks ; )

    Hope you have a blast @ WF!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Dove Dark is really good because it’s so creamy. I like Chocolove too, but I’ve never tried (or seen) Endangered Species or TJ’s brands.

  • Reply
    Jess @ Truly.Into.Fitness
    at

    lol you’re killing me with the chocolate! As I told you I gave it up for Lent! haha and the chocolate I DO miss is DARK at least 70% dark chocolate! 3 pieces is all I need!:)
    My favourite dark chocolate is Green & Black’s Organic chocolate. Either the 70% or 85% SO GOOD!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      hahahaha! OMG! I didn’t even think about all the bloggers that gave up chocolate or sweets for Lent! I am so mean taunting you guys like this! Oops… sorry!!

      • Reply
        Jess @ Truly.Into.Fitness
        at

        haha you’re not mean! Totally loved the post! You’re so original with the way you present your material:)

        • Reply
          Teri
          at

          ohhhh thanks! I’m glad you enjoy my posts! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tyler Ramey
    at

    omg Terri. The Endangered Species Dark Choc is out of this world! Crazy good flavors like Cacao Nibs, Goji Berries, Mint, Hazelnut, Toffee, Raspberries, Blueberries…it goes on and on.

    Just from me alone, I think I have saved at least 5,678 animals due soley to the purchase of these addicting (and cute) bars. hahahah

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      whaaaat??? Those flavors sound amazing!!!!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Shedding It
    at

    I also made the switch to dark later in life, but now I love it and am just so blah on milk chocolate!! I always nibble on Hershey’s dark chocolate chips but I might need to upgrade to one of your picks.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      While you’re upgrading, get Ghiradelli’s 60% dark chocolate disks to munch on. um, wow. They are by all the other chocolate chips and they make cookies better and make munching better.

  • Reply
    Abby
    at

    Wow I’m impressed with how well you know your chocolate! It is by the far the most important food group!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      My husband used to do freelance writing and actually wrote an article about how to choose chocolate and how to taste it, so I learned from all of his research. 🙂

  • Reply
    Diana
    at

    I really like Green + Blacks and the Endangered Species brand. I’ve never tried Amano, but I’ll have to look for it now! 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I think I’ve had Green + Black once…but it’s been a while. I’ll have to check it out again! And it sounds like the Endangered Species brand is a popular one!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    at

    I have these chocolates from around the world that I’ve been waiting to do a tasting with…maybe this week! You inspired me. Also, 1] I HATE hershey’s chocolate..I don’t even know if I can call it chocolate..blegh 2] I didn’t start liking dark chocolate til I was in my 20’s either….are you surprised?

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      mmm….chocolate….that’d be fun if we both did a review at the same time! 🙂

      I think Hershey’s used to refer to their stuff as chocolate “candy.” that is definitely more appropriate! It’s not real chocolate!

      and nope! Not surprised! 🙂

  • Reply
    Alicia
    at

    Just discovered your blog via Healthy & Fun. I knew that I’m going to be a devoted reader when I saw this post about dark chocolate!!!

    Personally, I’m a fan of Lindt’s Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bar. I always treat myself after dinner with a square to finish off my meal. I haven’t tried the Amano brand before. I’ll wait for your follow up post to see which I should try first!

    Happy Sunday!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      I have looked EVERYWHERE for the Lindt Sea Salt Dark because it sounds exactly like my type of chocolate. I can’t find it! someday….someday…

  • Reply
    Angela @ A Healthy Fit
    at

    I’ve never tried Amano, guess I better make a Starbucks run immediately. I really like Green & Blacks, but a blind tasting would be fun. I really don’t care for milk chocolate anymore, it is funny how our taste buds change as we grow and mature. 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      the blind tasting really was fun, especially if you have someone else to do it with. it’s funny how different my husband and i are with our chocolate preferences! 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    at

    Try for the life of me I just cannot get into dark chocolate. The bitterness just kills me after one bite. After reading this, maybe I need to give poor little dark chocolate another chance. I like Lindt as it is, so maybe that’s a good one to try to break the mold with (no pun intended)!

  • Reply
    marla {familyf fresh cooking}
    at

    I have never tried Amano, but I am also a lover of dark chocolate. I don’t really crave milk chocolate, though when I was a kid it was the go-to choice. Gosh, aren’t we just so refined now 😉 I also love the buzz from good dark chocolate. I usually eat SB, love their unsweetened cocoa powder.

  • Reply
    Lia
    at

    I need to try this Amano! Sounds wonderful.

  • Reply
    jeana
    at

    So you will be so proud of me. I just bought some quinoa and yams to eat this week. Can’t wait to cook them up. Also I’m a huge Dark chocolate fan. I’ve never had Amano, but I’ll be sure to pick some up next time I’m at the store. Thanks for all the tips, keep em coming. Those cookies look yummy, I’m making a goal to make your bread this week. Wish me luck, I never have the best luck baking bread 😉

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I AM proud of you! I hope you like the quinoa! And good look with the bread; it’s a pretty easy recipe so hopefully it turns out well! Just make sure you have the right kind of yeast. 🙂

  • Reply
    Bobby
    at

    GRAPE!!!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I’ll play half game and take whole snow cone.

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